Andy Walmsley – Current Who Wants to be a Millionaire Set Design

andy walmsley

Age 15: Designed the first TV show: The Paul Daniels Magic Show

Age 21: Designed the Buddy Holly Story in the West End

Age 23: Designed Buddy the Buddy Holly Story on Broadway

Age 25: Designed Blood Brothers on Broadway

Youngest Theatre Designer Ever to work in The West End and on Broadway

Who Wants to be a Millionaire most reproduced scenic design in history

Three times nominated for Emmys

Won Emmy for best art direction for American Idol

More International TV duplicate designs than any other production designer

108 identical productions of Who Wants to be a Millionaire globally

Designed two biggest hit TV show in the last decade: Who Wants to be a Millionaire and American Idol

andy walmsley2

The Role of a Set Designer

Set designers are responsible for creating sets for use in the production of films, television programmes, and performances of plays and musicals. A set designer is in charge of designing and creating the sets that appear in films, on television programmes as well as in the theatre. The role involves working and communicating with directors, producers, costume designers and other members of staff. This helps to make contacts as you will b having to communicate with many people with authoritative roles in the media.

Responsibilities of a set designer include:

  • reading scripts
  • producing plans, drawings and models of sets
  • preparing estimates of set costs
  • managing budgets
  • viewing possible outside broadcast sites
  • planning
  • attending rehearsals/film takes
  • meeting with and commissioning set construction companies

Typical Qualifications Required:

Employers will prefer candidates with degrees in theatre studies, creative or performing arts, drama, fine or visual arts, graphic or 3D design, illustration, architecture and landscape architecture. However, the ability to demonstrate a genuine interest in, knowledge or experience of visual arts, culture and television, film or theatre is essential, and often more important than academic qualifications.

Key Skills Required:

  • Stamina
  • Creativity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Determination
  • Perseverance
  • Imaginative
  • Adaptability
  • Working well under pressure
  • Good spatial awareness
  • Technical skills

The current WWTBAM set is based in the centre of the audience with two chairs or a table. This intensifies the game show for the audience and the viewers at home. Lighting is directed a the presenter and contestant and these lights come from every angle so that the show can choose between many different cameras and not have to worry about the set being poorly lit. All of the cameras are always doing something different. Some are panning around the set, some are focusing on the audience, presenter, contestant, establishing shots, etc. When the show starts, the set is filled with a lightly dense fog to emphasise the light beams. This can be seen in the picture below on the right. The use of colour on the WWTBAM set is usually very bright colours but not so bright that they can be classed as vibrant. For example, the shows signature colour is bright blue. This is seen on the logo and the lights that are used on the set of the show. Although, the lights change colour throughout the show depending on the events within the show. As the set is mostly made of lights, it gives them the opportunity to change the whole sets entire colour and feel. This can be used to make the show more intense.